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Motorcycle Helmets

Do you wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle? Have you ever wondered why wearing a helmet is absolutely necessary? The truth is that no matter how fun and exciting motorcycle riding may be, riders are more exposed than their four wheeled friends. Unlike car passengers, motorcycle riders do not have safety belts or airbags to protect them in the event of an accident. This means riders are at a higher risk.

Wearing helmets is one of the most important safety concerns linked to motorcycle riding. Although a helmet cannot prevent a crash, it can definitely help minimize the risk of a head injury.

Unfortunately, head injuries are among the most common cause of death in motorcycle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), head injury is the leading cause of deaths in motorcycle crashes. Riders who do not wear helmets are 40% more likely to sustain a fatal head injury.

Types of Motorcycle Helmets

The importance of helmets cannot be stressed enough. While there is no “one size fits all”, riders have the option of choosing from a wide variety. When looking for a motorcycle helmet, it is important to research and make sure you find a helmet that matches your needs.

 Here are some of the main types of motorcycle helmets available:

 Open Face Helmet - This helmet is also known as the three quarters helmet and is designed to provide more protection to the lower rear of your head. Most open face helmets have built-in visors.

 Half helmet - This helmet is popularly known as the shorty helmet. Many riders prefer this helmet as it is more comfortable. However, the helmet provides minimal protection and only protects from the ears and up.

 Full face helmet - A full face helmet covers the entire head. This helmet offers the most protection from the front to the back of the head. It is usually worn by sports motorcycle riders and street riders.

 Off road helmet - This type of helmet is also known as an ATV helmet. It is elongated at the chin and mouth area to help the rider breath more easily.

 Modular helmet - This helmet is quite similar to a full face and open face helmet. The chin bar and the visor on this helmet can be flipped up.

 There is a big misconception that any helmet can be used for any ride. Wrong! This is the reason why there are different types of helmets available. Although the main purpose of a helmet is to protect, there are other factors that need to be taken under consideration when choosing a motorcycle helmet. 

 What To Look for in Motorcycle Helmets

 Size and fit - A helmet that doesn't stay on you is of no use. You must carefully select a helmet that fits you perfectly. You can check the fit by putting on the helmet and fastening the strap. The strap should be slightly tight around your chin area. If you are buying a full face helmet, your cheeks and jaw should fit in perfectly.

 Comfort – A perfect fit should not be uncomfortable. An uncomfortable helmet can take away all the fun out of your motorcycle riding. Some helmets have a layer of foam inside that not only helps with the fit, but also makes the rider feel comfortable.

 Coverage - Depending on your style of riding, you can go for an open face helmet, half helmet, etc. It is recommended that you go for a helmet that offers shell coverage along with an EPS liner for shock and impact absorption.

 Check the safety ratings – This is important! A helmet should be able to pass a safety check and must also be rated by an authorized organization such as the Department of Transportation (DOT). There are two main types of safety ratings, one required by law and one acquired through a third party organization such as Snell Memorial Foundation. Many helmets are DOT Tested before they even reach the stores. However, you can submit your helmet to a third-party tester such as SNELL and see if it passes the safety test.

 Appearance - Safety comes first, no doubt about that, but appearance is also important for many motorcycle riders. Depending on your personal interest, type of riding, and budget, you can choose from a wide range of colors, designs, and patterns. Most bikers prefer to match their bike's color with their helmet.

 Convenience features – This can make motorcycle riding both enjoyable and safe. Some of the features to look out for when buying a motorcycle helmet are: quick change face shield, storage bag, breath guard, breath deflectors, removable helmet padding, light reflectors, etc.

Make sure your helmet has all of the above mentioned features. Motorcycle riding should be about fun, convenience, and most of all, safety. Be smart and protect the part that makes you smart.